On the various issues surrounding this case, I’m not well-informed. It’s not something I’ve studied through. I’m still not sure what I believe about eternal security or any number of other issues. Issues involving euthanasia, mercy killing, etc., haven’t ever gotten enough attention from me to have formed convictions that I’m willing to stand behind.
But that doesn’t mean my emotions don’t get pulled. Strongly.
After music practice Thursday night, several of us stayed around talking for quite a while about various things. As a result, on the way home, I realized I was very thirsty. My mouth was dry. And my mind immediately went to Terry Schiavo. I’ve heard that her brain isn’t “connected” well enough to actually feel pain or discomfort, though I suspect there are “experts” who hold varying opinions on that. Regardless, I thought about what it’s like to be terribly thirsty–going days without water. And I wondered about things.
Early on, I remember hearing some reports telling us exactly what was happening with Terry’s physical condition at that moment–how the lack of water and nourishment was affecting here. How her body, her condition, was deteriorating. I haven’t heard such reports in a while, so I assume her husband has cut off access to such knowledge. But we need to know that stuff. We as a society. If we’re going to kill someone in the electric chair, it’s incumbent on us to know exactly what happens–how much pain is felt and where it is felt, what that first jolt of electricity is like, when death occurs, the mental state of the inmate, and everything else. Likewise, if we, as a society, are going to let a helpless person starve to death, just whither away, we should know what exactly–exactly–is happening. I want to know. Whether I think she should be allowed to die, or not, I want to know what is happening to her. If we’re going to allow this, let’s understand precisely what we are allowing.
Courts have wrestled hard with the question, “Is this what Terry wanted?” They’ve decided that it seems she would approve. If that is true, is it still okay to just let her starve to death? That’s where I’m uncertain. I think I’m okay with it. But I have nothing near the defintion of a conviction. I’m just watching, and doing a lot of wondering.
I was also touched by a post on Ed Gebert’s blog, in which he talked about a classmate who had been in a coma for 20 years, and finally died. It added insight to my admitted lack of insight. I recommend that you read it.